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    Facebook's use of user data has been plastered across headlines for the last several weeks. A story about a company called Cambridge Analytica precipitated what became a massive snowball. In early stories, Cambridge Analytica (a data firm used by some candidates in both domestic and international elections), was accused of hacking the 2016 election by stealing user data.

    Russia mania has infected the minds of many otherwise rational adults, which has to be the only explanation for this godawful "report" by CNN. Tuesday night, CNN posted a video of reporter Drew Griffin harassing an elderly woman, at her own home, mind you, over her pre-election Facebook activity. Griffin alleged Florine Goldfarb's Facebook group was unknowingly interacting with Russian trolls (those cited in the recent DOJ indictment).

    No, this isn't an Onion article.  Facebook has a new pilot program aimed at protecting users from having their nude bodies plastered all over Facebook . . . by requiring that you upload a photo of your nude body to Facebook. They will then "hash" your nakedness (turn it into a unique code); once this is done, your hashed image (now code, not a pic of you in all your glory) will then be flagged and refused upload permissions on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram. Facebook's "intimate safety" pilot is currently only available in Australia. Facebook writes:
    We don’t want Facebook to be a place where people fear their intimate images will be shared without their consent. We’re constantly working to prevent this kind of abuse and keep this content out of our community. We recently announced a test that’s a little different from things we’ve tried in the past. Even though this is a small pilot, we want to be clear about how it works.

    Caving to pressure from Capitol Hill, Facebook is releasing some 3,000 possible Russia-linked ads to Congress who has been investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. When the ads will be turned over to Congress has not yet been made clear. As part of the announcement Monday, Facebook also indicated plans to beef up their ad review staff by hiring an additional 1,000 people.

    Russia hysteria hit a fever pitch when it was revealed Facebook unknowingly (they claim) sold political ads to Russian actors who were attempting to influence the outcome of the 2016 election, sparking curiosity about the ad content. After immense pressure from Capitol Hill, Facebook announced Thursday they'd be releasing the Russian-bought ads to federal investigators.

    Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is traveling the country, meeting with American workers, and doing other things which signify an interest in running for office. This includes hiring failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's pollster to work at his charity organization. Nothing is official yet but people are talking.

    Public executions by Hamas in Gaza are quite common. But some are more equal than others, and the public execution today has received quite a bit of attention, in fact more than Hamas wanted. The execution was livestreamed -- apparently against Hamas wishes -- by the Gaza Now News Agency from a window in a building overlooking the execution site. The background is that the three men executed were allegedly involved in the killing of a senior Hamas terror planner in March, as we reported at the time, Senior Hamas Terror Planner Mazen Faqha Assassinated in Gaza:

    The families of the Orlando nightclub shooting victims filed a federal complaint against the web giants for allegedly providing "material support" to ISIS and helping terrorist Omar Mateen "radicalize", according to an exclusive report by Fox News. Why not sue Mateen's internet service provider? Or the manufacturer of the web-enabled devises he used to "radicalize" himself? This is akin to blaming the gun for the actions of the shooter.

    This should surprise no one. These are probably the same people who in college demanded intellectual safe spaces and trigger warnings. We have seen it at Twitter, where conservative accounts seem to be targeted, and also at Facebook, where there were allegations of the same. The Wall Street Journal reports, Facebook Employees Pushed to Remove Trump’s Posts as Hate Speech:

    Former Facebook employees have told Gizmodo that the company regularly told them to stamp out conservative news even if it trended on the website. From Gizmodo:
    Several former Facebook “news curators,” as they were known internally, also told Gizmodo that they were instructed to artificially “inject” selected stories into the trending news module, even if they weren’t popular enough to warrant inclusion—or in some cases weren’t trending at all. The former curators, all of whom worked as contractors, also said they were directed not to include news about Facebook itself in the trending module. In other words, Facebook’s news section operates like a traditional newsroom, reflecting the biases of its workers and the institutional imperatives of the corporation. Imposing human editorial values onto the lists of topics an algorithm spits out is by no means a bad thing—but it is in stark contrast to the company’s claims that the trending module simply lists “topics that have recently become popular on Facebook.”
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